• The Book Slut

Ham hock, pea and mint salad

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

This is not the kind of salad you can throw together at the last minute. With a little perseverance, though, this ham hock salad recipe from Colin McGurran will make a truly spectacular starter. The pea powder that the ham hock is rolled in can be made by dehydrating some peas and blitzing into a powder - but is not essential to the dish.







  • 400g of frozen peas

  • salt




Espuma gun

Sous vide equipment



1 Start by preparing the hock. Soak the ham in cold water for 8 hours

2 Place the ham hock, thyme and star-anise in a vac pac and cook in a water bath for 8 hours at 85°C

3 Once cooked, remove from the bag, taking care not to spill the liquid and set aside. Once cooled take the meat off the bone (saving the skin for the crackling) and mix with 8 teaspoons of the cooking stock left in the vac pac bags. Reserve 100ml of the cooking liquid for the ham jelly and 50ml for the ham espuma

4 Roll out a large piece of cling film on a work surface. Lay the mixture out in a line on top of the cling film and tightly roll to create a ballotine, twisting the ends when firmly wrapped. Leave to set in the fridge overnight

5 To pickle the shallots, bring all ingredients apart from the shallots to the boil in a pan, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Slice shallots into thin rings and separate into individual rings. Soak the shallots for 24 hours in the solution and refrigerate

6 For the jelly, pass the 100ml of reserved ham hock cooking juices through a muslin cloth into a tray and keep in the fridge until set. The natural proteins from the hock will set the jelly without any additional setting agents

7 Once set, carefully dice into perfect squares and keep in containers until needed

8 For the crackling, removed as much fat from the reserved ham hock skin as possible and dehydrate the skin in a 65°C oven for 2 hours or more if necessary. Set aside until ready to fry

9 For the black pudding cream, sauté all ingredients apart from the blood together in a pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes

10 Combine and mix with the blood and blend on a medium-high speed until it starts to thicken. Leave the machine running for 1 minute then empty into piping bag. Reserve in the fridge to cool

11 To start the ham espuma, thinly slice the bacon and caramelise the fat under the grill

12 Add the milk to a pan with the cooked ham skin, grilled bacon. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes, before leaving to infuse for a further 20 minutes

13 Pass the milk through a chinois and mix with the cream, then blitz in vitamix until smooth. Transfer to an espuma bottle and add 2 chargers

  • 100ml of double cream

14 To mint the peas, shell the peas then combine with the mint and a small handful of the pickled shallots in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve

15 For the purée, put the frozen peas through a vegetable juicer once, then repeat. Pass through a chinois and season with salt

  • 400g of frozen peas

  • salt

16 When ready, cut 8 x 8cm portions of the ham hock and roll in the green pea powder. Slice each portion in half on the diagonal and set aside

17 Heat a deep fryer to 180˚C and fry the dehydrated ham skin until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper

  • vegetable oil, for frying

18 Add a small mound of the minted peas to the middle of each serving plate. Follow with the crackling and slices of ham hock. Dot the pea purée around the plate and garnish with the shoots, flowers and mint leaves

19 Finish with the ham espuma a little extra pea powder and serve immediately

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